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Letter: Students should take advantage of DPS services

To the Editor:

My name is Chun Cheng, and I am a Brown alum that just graduated a few months ago. I am writing regarding an article I saw in The Herald.

I lived in an off-campus apartment during my two years of study at Brown University and took advantage of the Brown Department of Public Safety services, which I think not many people are aware of. I think it would be a great idea if you could advertise the services of DPS to the Brown community.

Their Residential Security Vulnerability Assessment program is really useful when first moving into off-campus housing. The officer comes to the house to make an assessment of the residence and provides a security recommendation report for students to send to the landlord for safety improvements. We all know that certain landlords and real estate brokers on College Hill are not concerned about the safety and security of the house, so I find that this service is really good for the Brown community to use. In my case, the landlord did not want to fix the lock of my window at first since they thought that it was not important. After the officer of Brown DPS came, they fixed the lock of the window in three days. The officer also provided me some safety tips regarding my living area, making me more cautious of some common crime situations.

I also registered in the Rape Aggression Defense course that Brown DPS offers. Even though the Brown area is comparatively safe to other parts of Providence and U.S. cities, being a female student walking late at night can still be intimidating. I learned some self-defense tactics and useful techniques in the course, and I recommend people at Brown take it.

Another issue that I encountered during my time at Brown was a scam/fraud issue, and since I lived off-campus, my case should have been the Providence Police’s responsibility. As an international student, I was not familiar with the crime report or any authority in the United States. I sought help from a Brown DPS officer. She took me to the police station and walked me through the process of filing a criminal report, and she gave me a lot of advice on the issue of fraud and tips for identity theft prevention. I was somewhat traumatized at that moment and might have done some foolish things when dealing with the fraud. But thanks to the officer, I was given the mental support to prevent me from falling into the frauds’ traps. Brown DPS is very supportive to the Brown community — in my experience, they will try to find the right person for us to speak to if the issue falls outside of their field (such as an attorney that is associated with Brown).

I realize that many people at Brown do not know what services and programs DPS provide, and I would like to recommend that people to take advantage of them. With the help of The Herald, I hope that readers can have more information about Brown DPS and thus be able to prevent crimes or seek help if need be.

Chun Cheng ’19


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